My testimony to the Portland City Council on Cesar E. Chavez

Karol Collymore

[Editor's note: Last night, the City Council was expected to vote on the renaming of 39th Avenue. That decision has been delayed until July 8. More news here.]

Last night, Portland's City Commission heard testimony for and against renaming 39th Ave. to Cesar E. Chavez. Because of the overwhelming attendance (mostly against the change) we each only got a minute. There was some compelling information on both sides, but because of the short 60 second window, we didn't get all we could. Here's mine:

I’m strongly in favor of renaming 39th Avenue for labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. I won’t retread his historical worth, because from where I sit it is obvious.

A friend of mine said to me that there is a point that is often missed when debating the worth of Cesar Chavez to Portlanders: we are a town of foodies. We care about what we eat. We proudly support local farms, markets and restaurants that serve local, seasonal food in very small amounts, stylishly served on small plates. Every proper Portland foodie trots out Michael Pollen’s books like their own personal Bibles and yet in the uproar over the name change, we do not want to give credence to the man who fought for the rights of the workers who make sure that local food is available to us, handled by workers who are treated as well as we are at our jobs.

How do you get those fresh, seasonal pears or that local, organic wine or beer that we proudly drink and trot out for our party guests? Even our own local fast food chain boasts seasonal shakes and something I discovered this morning: a strawberry and goat cheese Panini. Those fruits don’t pick themselves. They don’t magically appear at New Seasons, Trader Joe’s (on 39th, by the way), Burgerville or the latest offering at The Farm Cafe. That work is done by farm laborers. Many are residents of Oregon, many are migrant workers. Cesar Chavez fought for all their rights – starting with Vietnamese immigrants, migrant workers displaced by the Great Depression and Latino immigrants.

Did you know that Cesar Chavez was a vegan? Close your eyes and change his name, to say, Charlie Cooper. He would be like any other Portlander fighting for equal rights like a Basic Rights Oregon activist, protecting workers like the Service Employees International Union and advocating a buy local system like the small retailers all around town. All Chavez was missing was the heavy irony and a few tattoos. Oh and a bike, he would have needed a fix-y with a stainless steel water bottle.

Marginalizing Chavez by naming something small after him is like marginalizing MLK by naming a church after him. The beauty of naming a street is that everyone sees the name Cesar Chavez throughout the city; from North to South. It will start conversations, not just about this leader, but broader, more vital discussions about race, justice and inclusion. Our children, our neighbors should know Chavez’s work as much as they know Martin Luther King’s or Rosa Parks. Let us not forget that the same arguments that are being made to fight the change on 39th are the same ones that were made 20 years ago when Union was changed to Martin Luther King Jr. That process also took years.

We as Portlanders should honor Chavez. He transformed the lives of people who worked hard daily, to bring Americans fresh food. We should continue to honor the people who bring food to our tables by naming a street after the person who allowed them to be treated fairly at work. Portland should have a visible, constant reminder of a man who represented all working people.

To some it's an expense, it's a distraction, or it's simply uncomfortable. I’ve been in the room when some said they felt that naming a street after a person of color means the wrong element might start coming around. I’ve heard someone else say that a Latino could never afford a house off 39th – she lived in Laurelhurst – so why would we put it there? What message does that send?

This renaming should matter to foodies, but it deeply matters people like me and people who are shades darker and shades lighter. It’s about continuing to make Portland an inclusive city – not just a city that includes environmentalists or artists or musicians or restaurateurs, or liberals, but for everybody. That is your responsibility, commissioners, to make sure everyone has a place in the mosaic that is Portland. Thirty nine is just a number. Cesar Chavez is about our community.

Comments

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    I hate the word foodie. Anthony Bourdain agrees with me.

    I honestly wouldn't care about the rename, but the way the renaming committee has conducted themselves. Yeah...I'm certainly not supportive of anything they put forward. They basically say "we're telling you what we want. We're not willing to compromise and if you disagree you're a racist."

    I'm not such a big fan of that approach.

  • Mike (unverified)
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    Well, it's pretty straightforward, Garrett. If you don't support the rename, you ARE a racist.

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    Garrett, Someone made the point last night - and it's a sound one -that one can't compromise if the other side of the deal doesn't exist. No one in a position of power (key words) has offered a park, a bridge or otherwise. The committee has made it clear they would like a street. They had 3 suggestions, the planning commission narrowed it to one. Why do they have to defend the desire for a street? And why the defense of a number?

    Marta has done an honorable job following the rules, being cordial and offering her other cheek when people keep repeatedly slapping her down. It's been two years. Change is never easy and often unwelcome, but it's time.

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    Karol

    Sorry to say on this one we disagree.

    I don't much approve of the City process--getting 2500 signatures city wide that can override 90% opposition along the affected avenue. And while the current committee followed the letter of the law, it was rather odd of the City to allocate special funds to make sure its own street renaming process was followed.

    The foodie argument is creative, but I think a bit stretched. If we really want to celebrate locavorianism, we should name a street after Alice Waters. Don't make Chavez out to be something else--he is a Latino labor rights leader.

    I also am unconvinced by the argument that naming something "small" (who defines what is "big" and "small" by the way) somehow demeans Chavez's legacy. I think the new bridge is a very fitting honor.

    Finally, I dont' think it does any injustice to Chavez's contributions and legacy to suggest that Martin Luther King is simply in a completely different category when it comes to contributions to human and civil rights in this country and worldwide. Evoking MLK as a justification to renaming 39th for Chavez is just not reasonable.

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    I'm disappointed, Paul. I think MLK invocation is a fair thing to do. Both changed the way we live our lives. Food, how we get it and how the workers that give it to us is overwhelmingly due to worker treatment. Alice Waters couldn't do what she does if not for the people planting, growing and picking her food. If you can't see that link, I'm sorry.

    It is unreasonable to say name a bridge or name a park if those people in power over parks and bridges do not step up and offer those as alternatives. Parks and brdiges don't have renaming processes. Options for naming should not only be for the rich who can write a check and have their names everywhere. PGE Park, anyone?

    We need to start thinking about how we define our leaders and how we make people feel included in our community. This NIMBY business is maddening becuase at the end of the day, the name change will only help seal our reputation as an inclusive city.

  • Bruce (unverified)
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    Karol - I guess it's all in how you define inclusive because the people on 39th and the neighborhood associations that have taken a position in opposition certainly don't feel like it's inclusive.

    2,500 signatures in a city of roughly 550,000 is less than one half of one percent not to mention no public meetings where planning commissioners and city commissioners come down to 39th and hear what we have to say. This is being rammed down our throat and if it were any other topic, you'd agree. This process is FLAWED.

    By the way, if you're striking out against NIMBYism, volunteer a street in your neighborhood and show us the way. That would be a very noble gesture.

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    Funny you should say that, Bruce. I did offer my street, NE Broadway.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Pure ubiquitous drivel.

    The only reputation this will seal is one of forcing something down the people's throat because of someone's elses preverted sense of entitlement.

    Just because someone is famous does not entitle them to have anything named after them. Just because someone in power, or a civis leader, claims it is a 'good idea', does not m,ean it has to be shoved down our throats like this.

    I agree that Chavez is an important historical figure, but that point does not entitle his followers to hijack a street like this. Why not the new transit bridge across the Willamette? Why are we so obsessed to pingeon-hole the naming to a street?

    I, for one, am getting tired of having stuff down my throat, be it a street name change or the Ecozealot's green agenda. For once, I want to up-chuck this force feeding right back at whoever is trying to push it down.

    If it isn't broke, don't change or fix it because you need something to do with your time.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "No one in a position of power (key words) has offered a park, a bridge or otherwise"

    Thats because of thier position of power. They can do this because they have this perverted sense of entitlement to pigeon-hole the idea down our throats. They need to justify thier existance (and power) and need to have something to do with thier time and their life.

    And all because they have the power to do so without regard of the results.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Karol -- I completely agree with you about the need to honor Chavez. But I do question the decision to honor him in such a divisive way. The argument from Marta and other proponents seems to be that those opposed to this are either racists or uninformed, and thus it's okay to ignore their views. I think the Oregonian article a couple of weeks ago was intriguing: Would Chavez himself have supported this honor, given the opposition of almost everyone directly impacted?

    I think your argument that the proponents can't compromise because no official has formally put forward another option is a strawman. Marta herself has been quoted saying, essentially, we want a street, and after we get a street, we'll be happy to talk about other options as well. Nowhere has she said that if someone puts forward another option, she and her group will be willing to discuss it.

    Personally, I don't see the connection between a street and Chavez. (I don't see that connection with MLK, either.) I would see a connection with a school, or a farmer's market, or the day laborer's center. And if we really want to honor Chavez, we should lobby the school board for specific education on Chavez and farmworker rights. THAT would be an honor that I think Chavez would support.

  • Ben (unverified)
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    Karol, I sympathize with you that Chavez should be honored, but, like many others, I don't believe a street renaming is the way to go. While I appreciate that this is the only civic entity that has a renaming process, there are other ways to go about getting new projects named after people. I would support an organization that did a full-court political press to get a new project named for Chavez, or any other worthy person.

    I just wanted to point out that streets are a poor memorial - constant repetition of the names Martin Luther King (MLK, ubiquitously) and Rosa Parks don't foster enduring respect; they just become part of the background noise, and a little part of what those pioneers worked so hard for is lost when they become commonplace, when they become just part of driving directions, or a location for traffic accidents and bottlenecks on the radio or TV 80 times a day.

    To wit: Does anyone reflect on the legacy of George Washington when they think of the state of Washington, or Washington Park, or the trillion other things named after Washington?

    A huge percentage of Portland's streets are already named after people, but does anyone seriously contemplate those people and their legacies on a daily basis? If the streets were named that way out of a desire to honor those people, then what good has actually been accomplished? Is the bare fact of a street name really an honor?

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    Rename the Rose Quarter the Chavez District. That way we can show how Portland "embraces diversity" on national television every time TNT shows a Blazer game.

    Renaming 39th isn't a popular option. I doubt there is a street out there that would be a popular choice. Considering the amount of grief this is causing I don't know that a street is the proper way to honor Chavez.

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    This is funny:

    Marta has done an honorable job following the rules, being cordial and offering her other cheek when people keep repeatedly slapping her down. It's been two years. Change is never easy and often unwelcome, but it's time.

    1) Proposing three streets violated the rule against one rename petition. Had this been anything other than the Chavez committee, the response would have been "Which one are you proposing?"

    2) The number of signatures appear to be short, and the procedures ignored. The sampling was conducted improperly, and there was no verification of signatures for legal residence (which, agree with or not, is in the code).

    3) Cordial is not dismissing all attempts to negotiate an alternative proposal by suggesting that people are racist. The group pushing this has alienated people (like me) who would love to see an appropriate memorial to Chavez and don't happen to think that a street is a very big honor. Streets are conveyances for dirty, polluting, loud, dangerous machines that are at the heart of the nature exploiting and destroying system by which we occupy the land today. And, as others have noted, naming a street for someone is the fastest route to being a trivia question.

    Cesar Chavez deserves something that can be loved -- a park, a school, a library or, especially appropriate, a farm market where only those who practice humane, non-exploitative farming can sell their goods.

    4) Arguing that "change is hard, but it's time" just shows that you don't have an argument, just a conclusion. You're convinced, fine --- offer something to convince the rest of us. Or consider getting off the power trip and working with us to find a memorial that we can all support.

  • Stephen Amy (unverified)
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    Would be nice if it were a street with a farmers' market on it- the best choice would be SE 21st by the People's co-op (but of course that's not a major throughway like 39th is).

    Can't really see what the big deal is that has the opposition all cranked up against this? Would it really affect your life in any kind of negative way if your street were renamed in honor of Cesar Chavez?

    What is it about the man that you don't like? Or, is all the opposition merely coming from a problem with the process?

    So the process has been flawed, but save the fight for a more tangible project, such as the terrible idea of a publicly-funded baseball stadium in Lents Park.

  • OregonScot (unverified)
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    I still think nameing highway 99 (west and east) after Chavez would be great. After all it is along those highways that farm workers toil in the heat and dirt today.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Karol, my grandfather had lemon and avocado orchards in california during Cesar Chavez's rise to leadership. My grandfather was one of a few California orchardists who understood and agreed with Cesar Chavez and his efforts. I agree that some form of recognition of this Chicano (that is what he called himself) farm labor leader is a great idea.

    I'm sorry to disagree that renaming a street (especially one where the majority of those impacted are against it) after any person is a great idea. Others have stated that Cesar Chavez bridged cultures and communities. In honoring him, naming the new bridge would be fitting and a true honor. I agree.

    Marta has alienated those within the community she most needs support from due to her insistence that things be done her way or no way at all. She and her group went about this all wrong (thank you Christopher Walken) a year ago during the Interstate fiasco. To say nobody of substance has 'offered' an alternative is simply duplicitous. Several group representatives have offered to meet in order to find a compromise or alternative simply to be rebuffed by Marta and her group.

    Read through here. Many agree with the concept and idea of honoring Cesar Chavez, most disagree that the honor should be ramming a decision upon a small group of home and business owners.

    I do not live in Portland and rarely go there. I have no dog in the fight. I do, however pass through Portland on a regular basis in travels to Washington and Eastern Oregon. wouldn't a proper honor for such an impactful leader of the 60's and 70's be better served via a bridge that not only Portlanders. but also interstate travelers could see?

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    Hey Karol, I've got a fairly minor question: Why the "E"?

    Until the last week, I've never heard him referred to as "Cesar E. Chavez"... always just "Cesar Chavez". Why the sudden appearance of the "E"?

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    Karol (6/24/09):

    Someone made the point last night - and it's a sound one -that one can't compromise if the other side of the deal doesn't exist. No one in a position of power (key words) has offered a park, a bridge or otherwise. The committee has made it clear they would like a street.

    Karol (3/16/09)*:

    I don't want a park, I don't want a library, I would like a street.

    Maybe no one in a position of power has seriously offered something else because the street renamers have made it explicitly clear they are not willing to compromise? It takes 2 to tango, Karol.

    As it is you're sounding like the Republicans in Congress who are insisting that Democrats reach bipartisan consensus on everything which to them means giving Republicans everything they want.

    *Not that I needed to bring in the 2nd quote - the first one makes my point all by itself.

  • Michael M. (unverified)
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    I could care less about what they call 39th, I just wish people would stop speeding on it and that we could get law enforcement to do their jobs there. I swear if I'm killed or maimed by a driver, it will be on 39th (which I cross on my bike all the time), whatever it's named.

    But the notion of honoring someone as a workers' hero who is somehow related to bringing food to the farmers' markets that dot Portland is fairly ridiculous. I no longer shop at the farmer's markets because I can't afford them. The foods and goods at the farmer's markets are ridiculously overpriced -- we may be able to grow lots of things here, but we sure can't grow them affordably. It's a riot that they welcome the Oregon Trail card, as if anyone on food stamps is going to be able to shop there. Everyone I know on food stamps seeks out the Wal-Marts, Costcos, and WinCos, supplements those with what they can from food banks, and if they're lucky can round out with a few things from Trader Joe's, Safeway or Fred Meyer. Most of the people Chavez fought for wouldn't be able to shop at farmer's markets either. Of course, when you have cushy, overpaid government or union jobs on the taxpayer's dwindling dimes, you wouldn't realise (nor, most likely, care) how budget-busting farmer's markets are to those of us who can just about manage to eek out enough food for sustenance, and aren't throwing dinner parties featuring the latest in artisan cheeses.

    Oh, and Karol, Trader Joe's doesn't sell local produce -- precisely because it is too expensive and TJ's attempts to keep it's prices within reason.

  • sean cruz (unverified)
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    "Marginalizing Chavez by naming something small after him is like marginalizing MLK by naming a church after him."

    You have absolutely got to be joking, suggesting that the REVEREND Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be marginalized with the naming or dedication of a church.

    This street-renaming obsession, focused entirely within the City of Portland, where there is little actual farm work, has cost farmworker advocates working to remove the injustices written into Oregon state law the entire past two years.

    Had this street-renaming effort been focused on making a difference in real lives, we might have accomplished something real and we might have had something real to celebrate at City Council

    The only wage earners in Oregon who have no right to overtime pay for working beyond 40 hours a week are our farmworkers, our mostly-Mexican farmworkers.

    Oregon’s mostly-Mexican farmworkers won the right to meal and rest breaks during the workday only five years ago, the only population in the state denied that fundamental right.

    Farm labor in the USA is not a “Latino” experience, or a “Hispanic” experience and not necessarily an “immigrant” experience.

    Historically and to the present day, farm labor is by a wide margin a Mexican experience, a Mexican-American experience, and in California, where Cesar Chavez family and my family worked the fields, a Chicano experience, and it is 100% an experience of deep, abject poverty and injustice, conditions that continue to exist today.

    Without the active support of the Portland community ("community" in the broadest sense of the word), Oregon farmworkers will continue to labor in obscurity.

    Instead of organizing support to make a real difference in the lives of real people, this Portland obsession has drained the life out of our ability to mobilize legislative support.

    The Boulevard Committe has managed to snuff out any discussion pertaining to farmworkers for two years now, and Oregon farmworkers can now look forward to at least two more years worth of doing overtime work for straight pay.

    Enjoy your %^#($%&^# vegan vegetables!

    Sean Cruz (Chicano, Mexican American Sean Cruz)writes BlogoliticalSean at www.blogoliticalsean.blogspot.com

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    Yes, but Sean, the the crew behind the street change push doesn't appear to care about anything that Chavez cared about at all -- rather, they are simply using his name and memory as a prop to slap around some spineless players in Portland and prove their power chops.

  • William (unverified)
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    Karol, I'm not saying a street renaming is right or wrong, but there's certainly a lot of opposition to it. Especially from people who live along 39th. On the other hand, I've heard very little opposition to renaming a bridge.

    You wrote: "No one in a position of power (key words) has offered a park, a bridge or otherwise." True enough, but have the appropriate people in power been asked for a bridge? And if so, were they asked for a bridge after it was clear that a significant minority felt very strongly about naming something prominent after Chavez? What did they say?

    PS: I think you do a great job at Blue Oregon.

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    Kari, I'm not sure about the interjection of the "E."

    I'm still interested in reasons, beyond the lack of desire for change, why not a street? What's offensive about having one's street name changed?

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    "I’m strongly in favor of renaming 39th Avenue for labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. I won’t retread his historical worth, because from where I sit it is obvious."

    But this is the source of the whole problem--it isn't obvious to everyone. A campaign of public education would have done a lot more than the current campaign of public intimidation. Sad to say, Chavez is not nearly as well-known as King was at the time of the Union renaming.

    The advocates pushing to honor Chavez's memory have been their own worst enemy by trying to turn support for a single, narrow proposition into a litmus test on racial tolerance. The growing animosity could all easily have been avoided, mostly by those demanding the street change without first opening a dialog or education campaign.

    Also, what exactly is so inconsequential about a bridge? My kids just spent the last month learning the names and history of all the Portland bridges and making models of them as a class project. They didn't do that for any streets in town. Numbered streets are actually useful, and more consistently than political statements.

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    William, I'm an observer and supporter of this process, not intimately involved. From what I understand, the group wants a street and wants to understand - besides the resistance to change - why Chavez can't have one.

    I heard the point of no one in a position of power offering a compromise - a bridge or a park - during testimony and brought it up becuase I thought it was valid. The only thing citizens can change - without ready cash like the Schnitzers who have three downtown areas named after them with no complaints - is a street. There are no options for a park or bridge.

    Folks in positions of power have heard this debate for two years and have not stepped up to the plate to help solve this. Thank you for your compliment!

    J. Vu, I have that line you quoted from me because I was after several people at the hearing who have extolled the virtue of Chavez. I didn't need to repeat it.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "I'm still interested in reasons, beyond the lack of desire for change, why not a street? What's offensive about having one's street name changed?"

    Apparently you haven't been reading the posts in this thread very carefully. if you did, you would see it as plain as day.

    But, for some reason, you are looking for someone to write a 'buzz word' or two to justify your position.

    The street idea is not offensive. What IS offensive is having the idea shoved down my throat because someone in power feels entitled to name it is because 'it is a good idea and I have the power to make it so no matter what anyone else says or does'

    I like change - just not slammed and jammed down my throat because someone else has a warped sense of entitlement and 'knows whats good for me'.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I don't get this discussion. A key objection raised by opponents has been the cost to businesses to reprint advertising, have signs redone, and so on. Neither the city nor the proponents of the street renaming have made any noises about reimbursing business owners for such costs. Why not? And why is this issue not being discussed here?

    Change the frigging city code to include something about reimbursment of costs associated with renaming.

    I favor the renaming to honor Chavez as long as the direct cost to businesses is reimbursed. If not, then I become one more NIMBY.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    While we're at it, let's follow the example of other countries and name streets for prominent scientists, artists, musicians, writers and so on. Look at the history of Portland street names, folks, and you'll discover they're largely the names of 19th century robber barons.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    Jamais:

    Also, what exactly is so inconsequential about a bridge? My kids just spent the last month learning the names and history of all the Portland bridges and making models of them as a class project.

    Very good point.

  • mtc (unverified)
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    As someone pointed out earlier, street names do become "white noise". How many times do people really stop and think about Dr. King when they say "MLK"? Or Bill Naito?

    Seems to me that we could find a more appropriate tribute.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    By the way...I am not a NIMBY. I just don't like being bullied into the change.

    And Marta is being a bully.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    Just to address the question of why/why not... Look, I don't really care. I'm not affected by the name change. But those that are affected - residents and business owners on 39th should have the final say.

    Compare this to the whole Lents baseball stadium thing. I thought it was a good idea on the surface. But when the residents it will affect came out against it, then I'm going to defer to them.

    If this street rename goes forward over the objections of those living on 39th, I'm going to be signing the petition to rename that Pearl District street after Dick Cheney (I hope the group that brought that up was serious).

    It would be nice if this whole process sparks another debate at City Hall - how to reform the process of renaming streets (and yes, adding a process to rename bridges, parks, etc). The new process should require a sizable percentage of affected residents/businesses approving of the change.

    And here's another question (in response to the question of why are people against it other than to oppose any change): Why is a street rename the only acceptable way to honor Chavez? Is it only because MLK and Rosa Parks got their own street? That's about as superficial as opposing it only because one opposes change.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    This is by far the most amusing discussion I have ever seen on Blue Oregon. Keep up the politically correct comedy folks. Maybe one day we can all name a Portland street after Mallanaga Vātsyāyana.

    With all of the screwing around that goes on in Portland, it's a no-brainer to offer up a street in his honor.

    More folks should honor Chavez's stance on illegal immigration. All of his gains for farm laborers are essentially wiped out with every new wave of illegal immigration from the south.

    But symbolism has always been more important than results to liberals unlike Mr. Chavez, who actually had to deliver results for the UFW rather than feel good rhetoric about inclusiveness. Portland the "sanctuary city" does more to undermine legal farm workers than probably any other entity in the state.

    Like I said, carry on honoring " a person of color" rather than actually honoring what he was really trying to accomplish.

  • delosangeles (unverified)
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    The "committee" to rename a street for Cesar Chavez is not a lobbyist organization. They are merely a group of people who came together to find a way to honor an American hero on the heels of the renaming of Portland Boulevard Rosa Parks Way...which I think was a great thing to do. The re-naming of Portland Blvd happened without any "process" even though one was on the city code books at the time. The code existed when First Avenue was renamed Naito Parkway. It was not used then either.

    Why then, when a group of Hispanics want to honor an American hero is there such acrimony? Why didn't City Council just vote like they did for the other street name changes? Why did they decide that now is the time to follow the "process" on the books to the letter?

    Even after following the letter of the law and a after neutral third party hired and paid for by Commissioner Adams (the Transportation commissioner at the time) made the decision on which street to rename, you are STILL saying the process is flawed? The process called for the committee to recommend three streets and the "Historical Committee" analyzed, held public hearings, and finally selected one of the streets.

    The committee and other supporter mistakenly thought that because Portland is so "progressive", that it would not be so difficult to get a street named in Chavez' honor. Rosa Parks Way didn't seem to have the same level of push back. Could it be that the political stars aligned during an election year to facilitate that? Hmmmmm.

    I'm glad we have Rosa Parks Way, however it came about. I personally well up with tears of joy and pride everytime I drive I-5 North. By the way, that street name change was championed by a Commissioner. Yes, the ex-mayor championed the Chavez name change after the committee asked for support. They then asked all commissioners and most agreed to support it. There were enough votes when it went to Council...then all of a sudden, the other commissioners got wet feet. If they hadn't, Interstate Avenue would be Cesar Chavez Boulevard today. Thirty-ninth would not be on the table for discussion.

    When the city commissioner pulled the plug for the Interstate change, they PROMISED (it's on tape) the committee and the supporters a street for Cesar Chavez IF they followed the process they would design. The Committee followed what they were told to do.

    So here we are two years later.

    Sadly for me,the assumption and the national reputation that Portland has of being Progressive has been blown out of the water. Unless you all have a different definition, Merriam Webster defines it as "making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities; of, relating to, or characterized by progression; moving forward or onward; advancing; of or relating to political Progressives".

    We (Portlanders)are NOT Progressive. We insist on the status quo.

    Why a street: because of the principles of acknowledgement, equity, and belonging.

    Like you and eveyone else, our community wants to feel acknowledged for our contributions to Portland, Oregon, and the country. You get that every single day as you drive down Washington, or Grant or Hawthorne streets.

    During the Interstate name change process, a woman confided that she could sympathize with the Blacks, but not Hispanics because they "didn't have it as bad as the Blacks". She said that because of "white guilt" she could support Rosa Parks but not Cesar Chavez.
    Yes people, it was in writing.

    As far as equity, why can't we get a street named for the hero we choose to honor? Others have happened without a process.

    So, as a supporter, US citizen, ex-farmworker, taxpayer, and Portland resident, I look forward of having a part of Portland's infrastructure reflect the name of an Hispanic-American (ok Sean Mexican-American) hero. I look forward to the day when the exit sign on I-84 bearing the name Cesar Chavez Blvd becomes a "backdrop" or "background noise". What an honor.

  • Brian Collins (unverified)
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    I'll give Karol's question a try: I'm still interested in reasons, beyond the lack of desire for change, why not a street? What's offensive about having one's street name changed?

    I don't live on 39th (or in Portland), but from following this over the past couple of years, I think there are a couple of reasons.

    1. For a lot of people, a street is part of their identity. Just like when 4th was proposed for Chavez, but that ran through Chinatown so it was dropped. While 39th may not identify with a particular culture like Chinatown, it is still part of the identities of the people who live and work there, some for many decades. Obviously, your address is not nearly as important as your name, or where you are from, or your family, but I think it's important to a lot of people. Most of us don't change our identity easily or often, so it should be expected that this will be a harder sell to begin with. Imagine, for instance, if we were talking about renaming your city, or the State of Oregon. I would imagine that many of us would have strong reactions to that because Oregon is part of our identity. I'm not saying that a street is the same, but it is some fraction of one's identity, and certainly not negligible.

    2. My experience is that people don't like decisions being made for them. They want to feel part of the decision; they want to feel control over their own destiny. It is best when people buy in to change because it was their idea. What if a neighborhood came together and petitioned the city to name their street for Cesar Chavez? What if some students at a local school convinced their classmates to have a referendum to rename their school for Cesar Chavez? I think this sort of bottom-up process where the people who are being affected are the ones making the decision is going to result in a decision that has broad support.

    This has been a great discussion and I have appreciated reading the many different viewpoints on the forum. Whatever happens, I am hopeful that we can do something for Cesar Chavez and also Dolores Huerta. It's time to do more to honor women civil rights leaders!

    And one other thing - the OSU Foundation is raising money to renovate the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez at Oregon State University. This is a fantastic way to honor Cesar Chavez and contribute to the success of Latino students at OSU. For more info, or to contribute, visit http://osufoundation.org/giving/online_gift.shtml

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    delosangeles:

    Why then, when a group of Hispanics want to honor an American hero is there such acrimony? Why didn't City Council just vote like they did for the other street name changes? Why did they decide that now is the time to follow the "process" on the books to the letter?

    Actually, my guess would be that not enough time had passed since the Rosa Parks process. How many years passed between the other other street renames you mentioned (I've only lived in Portland since 2001, so I really don't know).

    I think the reason the process is being required was because the Rosa Parks process was still fresh in everyone's mind. If the Chavez group had waited 5 years, they probably could have rammed it through without going through the process as well.

  • (Show?)

    delosangeles,

    Again, most people don't know what Chavez did or what he stood for. It is likely most people think he was an advocate for illegal immigration ,which you might have noticed is a touchy subject these days (Chavez opposed illegal immigration and even helped monitor borders since illegal immigration ultimately fuels poverty and disenfranchisement in both the U.S. and Mexico.)

    A campaign of education, instead of one based on name-calling, innuendo, intimidation, and entitlement to tell everybody else what to do would have worked much better. By the time King and Parks had streets named after them in Portland, such a process of education about their achievements had already taken place nationally. Not so with Chavez. You are no doubt correct knee-jerk racism plays some role in the opposition of some people, but with 300 million people in this country I am sure I can find you an anecdote to support any position I want to illustrate. Doesn't make it so.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    delosangeles:

    Why a street: because of the principles of acknowledgement, equity, and belonging.

    So just because MLK and Rosa Parks have a street.

    Look, Portland values its bridges more than its streets. As Jamais pointed out earlier, school kids here learn the history of each bridge early on in their education. We have numerous races over our bridges every year. I think naming the new bridge after Chavez would be MORE of an honor than renaming a street. That's what has a number of us dumbfounded - the absolute opposition to alternative honorifics.

  • (Show?)

    this Portland obsession has drained the life out of our ability to mobilize legislative support.

    I don't understand this assertion, Sean. A wide range of immigrants and allies have been and are continuing to mobilize strongly in support of or opposition to key legislative proposals (including ballot measures) at the local, state, and federal levels. The renaming campaign has certainly been intense and consuming for some, but has not had the widespread effect you're suggesting.

    This is especially evident in the mounting campaign to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Congress. President Obama has called Congressional leaders into a White House meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow, and local organizers have been actively building support for Congressional action.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Amnesty is less of a mouthful and a more honest descriptor to boot.

  • delosangeles (unverified)
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    "I think naming the new bridge after Chavez would be MORE of an honor than renaming a street. That's what has a number of us dumbfounded - the absolute opposition to alternative honorifics." - Jim H

    This is why:

    "My experience is that people don't like decisions being made for them. They want to feel part of the decision; they want to feel control over their own destiny. It is best when people buy in to change because it was their idea." - Brian Collins

    Thank you both!

    PS: Please know that I write and respond with an open mind, trying to understand. I appreciate everyone's candor, inquiry, and advocacy.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    But Delosangeles, aren't you essentially saying that the reason why the proponents want to rename a street -- and only a street -- is to show that they can? That they have the political power to push through a decision over the mostly white opposition of the neighbors and businesses who live on 39th? That's the impression I get from your comments, and the impression I have gotten from Marta and the renaming committee. This whole process seems more like a political statement, a flexing of political muscle, than a process to honor an American hero. To answer Karol's question, that's why I want this process to fail, because I don't like to reward that kind of behavior from anyone, no matter their skin color or ethnic heritage.

    This debate is probably moot, however, as I suspect the renaming will pass 5-0. It will be interesting to see if the opponents mount a referral campaign or not.

  • delosangeles (unverified)
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    Miles, you misunderstand. Don't you get it? We have NO political clout. We are a very small minority in Portland and in the state. We rely on the democratic process and on the principles that we as Portlanders say we believe in.

    We rely on those principles to ally with those who walk the talk and on our elected official who represent us all.

    I loved the analogy of a street name becoming a backdrop or background noise. That's exactly what it should be. Just a part of everyday Portland.

    And by the way, I actually do think of George Washington, President Grant, and all the alphabetical names as I drive in our fair city. Maybe I'm a dork, but they say alot to me...maybe it's a cultural thing.

  • Nelson (unverified)
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    The biggest problem with the rename is that "Martin Luther King" BLVD, is very close to downtown Portland.

    Ceasar Chavez with way out on 39th. So the Negroes support placing Chavez way out on 39th street, to keep their status next to downtown Portland. This is clearly racist. Why should the Hispanics be relegated to "39th" place and Negroes be right by Downtown?

  • Nelson (unverified)
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    The biggest problem with the rename is that "Martin Luther King" BLVD, is very close to downtown Portland.

    Ceasar Chavez with way out on 39th. So the Negroes support placing Chavez way out on 39th street, to keep their status next to downtown Portland. This is clearly racist. Why should the Hispanics be relegated to "39th" place and Negroes be right by Downtown?

  • Miles (unverified)
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    We have NO political clout. We are a very small minority in Portland and in the state.

    I don't think this squares with Portland reality. This renaming is absolutely going to pass, probably unanimously, over the opposition of 85% of the residents on 39th and possibly a majority of Portland citizens. That, my friend, is the absolute definition of political power.

  • delosangeles (unverified)
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    That my friend, is the power of the democratic process. Our elected officials make the decisions based on the big picture.

    Hey, I've learned that anything can happen in politics; especially Portland City Hall. Supporters are not counting on a 5-0 vote or even a 3-2 vote. Been there, done that and our hopes were shattered last year.

    PS: "Supporters" don't necessarily agree with the committee's strategy or personalities. We know some of them tangentially. We support the outcome. Quite frankly, I thought the short strip of Grand Avenue was the best choice abecause it runs parallel with MLK. Mayor Adams' historical committee selected the street.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "A friend of mine said to me that there is a point that is often missed when debating the worth of Cesar Chavez to Portlanders: we are a town of foodies."

    Cesar Chavez wasn't so much about cities as he was about the people who labored in the fields. Why not take some highway that runs through an agricultural area (better still, highways running through agricultural areas) and assign honorary names to them just as we do for veterans or others. How about OR99W through Yamhill and Polk Counties? And/or part of the Mount Hood Scenic Byway running through Clackamas and Hood River Counties?

    These places would avoid much of the disruption that would go with renaming a city street.

  • Doug (unverified)
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    The idea of businesses or residents having a huge say on the naming of the street they are on seems odd to me. I wonder how many people when obtaining property thought "ooh 39th that's a good name." Streets are something we all share and must constantly see and deal with whether will live on them or not. If the renaming does go through are we really going to look back 10 years from now and think it was a bad idea?

  • sean cruz (unverified)
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    My Mexican American, Chicano testimony for Portland City Council is here:

    www.blogoliticalsean.blogspot.com

    Searching for Cesar Chavez in Portland, pt. 2

  • Jeff Lebo (unverified)
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    Ms. Collymore. I read a post of yours from Dec. 14, 2008 regarding a survey that was taken in Dallas to rename a waterfront street in that city. Of the choices offered, the public apparently chose Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

    You then state: "'Dallas lawmakers -- less than pleased that the name didn't exactly connote waterfront splendor -- balked, setting off months of wrangling in crowded public forums at City Hall and in heated online debates.'

    Less than pleased, eh? They ask for a vote, get one and then don't support it because it doesn't 'connote waterfront splendor?' Then why ask?"

    Has your opinion changed about surveys or are you interested in surveys that only support YOUR beliefs? Didn't 88% of survey respondents abutting 39th Ave. reject the change? Wouldn't a survey of Portlanders at large find a similar (albeit not as large) majority? Don't you think the Portland City Council should acknowledge and give weight to such expressions of public opinion? Would you care to explain your intellectual dishonesty or change in position?

  • rw (unverified)
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    Hey Karol - not sure it's about OFFENSIVE for some... for me or the businesses I interact with it's the expense and mess and real disruption to business to change all addresses, signage, documents, etc. If every clinic I serve along that street has to make sure all insurance panels (some are on as many as 25, Karol!) their doctors are members of "get it right" quickly so they do not lose pay, lose worktime repetitively .... not to mention corrections ad infinitum on many many many Regulatory forms, their Oregon practice licenses, DEAs, Board Certifications - all of these crucial items interdependently acquired (one doc cannot get his license in OR b/c his DEA address change is held up, the Pharmacy Board lost track of it FIVE TIMES, and refuse to find a workaround, just keep forcing his staff to initiate the same paperwork all over again at expense and lost time).... really - it's not as simple as people think. And even as we rarely care to hear businesses whimper... jesus, what the docs, bless their highly-paid little hearts, go through under such circs drains thousands of dollars out of a single provider's practice and can potentially impact them a year later trying to get it straightened out with the many entities they MUST interact with.

    Just a short, densepack explanation of only a few elements affecting some kinds of businesses along any given street.

    I favor naming a landmark - I'm an artist, understand the elementals of nature to be forces of creation active and interactive with us... so to me, naming artwork or a grove of magnificent trees, or a garden or .... anything that makes more-rich the real life of the people.... after a hero means more to me than a street. Just my particular eccentricity.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Boats has taken advice. No more page-long screeds. Tightly-packed neologisms. And the occasional skewer.

    No longer miss Civiletti so much, king of mad dog attacks in few, tightly-parsing words. ... except that Boats is like Civiletti in the mirror: exactly opposite in each way, with a twist you cannot put your finger on.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Doug says: The idea of businesses or residents having a huge say on the naming of the street they are on seems odd to me.

    But the idea of less than 0.5% of a city's population (most who would be directly impacted little if at all) having a huge say in the renaming of a street seems perfectly rational to you?

    Interesting world you live in...

  • (Show?)

    RW --

    On another thread you asked how come TypePad is refusing your comments. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that you've posted 94 comments in the last six days. (Actual count. I checked.)

  • Citizen (unverified)
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    This topic makes for great conversation. I do not agree with the renaming of 39th street for the simple fact we are renaming streets for the heck of renaming streets. I overheard a gentleman looking forward in trying to change a street name to a favorite author of his and there is no telling how far the renaming of streets could potentially go. I was young when Union was renamed to MLK Blvd and things moved too fast on the renaming of Portland Blvd to Rosa Parks Way. I understand wanting to honor Cesar Chavez, but this could also be carried out through incorporating his achievements in our education curriculums. I am of Native American and Latino decent and I can say it wouldn't do a world of difference in renaming the street if people are unaware about the individual it is named after. It is beyond being the 1950s title of being a person of 'color', this issue stems to the race card, which tends to happen often in Oregon, and for Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks the issue was not to reserve the rights to call a movement their own, but to seek the equal treatment of all people.

  • rw (unverified)
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    That would be a nice back channel thing to say. It must have taken you quite a lot of your personal time to go counting posts, eh?

    No, Kari, it was because Typepad filled in your web address as follows:

    http://blueoregon.com

    I cleared it out and corrected it, thanks.

    Sounds like you want me to stop posting. I'll drop out for a few weeks.

    Enjoy.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    If I had a business on 39th, I'd be getting a PO Box, or better yet, move. The insensitivity of this process to the people who live and work on the street is appalling and indicative of activists who have never spent years building up goodwill based upon a fixed location with advertising, business cards, signage, etc. That these folks, who did nothing to be afflicted with the bleeding heart cause of the moment other than have the misfortune of picking the wrong city in which to start a business, won't be compensated for the change, belies the childishness behind this process.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)
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    Just like the controversy that recently played out in Lents, a street should NOT be renamed without the consent of the property owners who are located on that street. The street renaming process is in itself is divisive. It allows any special interest group to collect signatures to move forward without any sponsorship from the neighborhoods the street is entwined in, or from people with addresses located on the street proposed to be renamed. There in lies the conflict - a conflict that was initiated by a lopsided process and a committee that not only did not build community support, but in effect refused to do so by declining to meet with affected neighborhoods. What would the opposition look like if the proposal on the table were to rename a street for the great communicator Ronald Regan? Or how about naming a street for Richard Nixon or even a muddy dirt street for some famous local liars?

    By insisting that only by renaming a street after Cesar Chavez can the man be honored and nothing else; the members of the committee to rename a street for Mr. Chavez lost their focus by placing arrogance, their own egos and an agenda ahead of the purpose.

    39th avenue may not have the historical significance that Broadway or Grand Avenue does, but it is still a street that runs through and is a part of a diversity of neighborhoods people identify with and have for many decades. Without building support from these communities and neighborhoods, the only tribute that can now come from changing the name would be one of extortion. In affect, forcing this name through would be a form of stealing - depriving and a taking away from those people who have deep-rooted identities tied to the present name of the street. Moreover, I do not think the man to be honored would himself approve of renaming a street given the divisive process and costs that must be incurred by both small businesses and taxpayers.

    What is needed is a compromise alternative that would demonstrate respect for names already in place by not selfishly taking away history from one group to bestow it on somebody else, not pose financial hardships to small businesses, not cost taxpayers the extra money of requiring the taxpayers of the City of Portland to change out a multitude of street signs, and not require such a divisive and negative process.

    One highly visible (more so than a street) and future landmark that meets the purpose of honoring the legacy of Cesar Chavez would be to place his name on the proposed new bridge crossing the Willamette River between OMSI and the South Waterfront in his honor. This is a bridge that people will cross over and ships will pass under. This is a bridge that can fill in the gap between those who labor in the fields and those who dwell in the central city. There is little to no controversy when a bridge is named. Bridges also retain their names and are called by their names. Additionally, an educational historical plaque could be placed at the bridgehead describing the contributions Mr. Chavez made to society. This would continue his legacy for future generations to come.

    Instead of contentiously continuing on the present controversial course, both the Portland City Council and the committee to rename a street for Cesar Chavez need to show some true leadership and humility (as did Cesar Chavez himself did in his lifetime). By getting together and supporting a change in venue to honor the legacy of Cesar Chavez, the controversy will be over. While forcibly renaming 39th Avenue is the WRONG thing to do, renaming something like a new bridge over the Willamette is the RIGHT thing to do!

  • Veronica (unverified)
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    Kari, don't see that your question was answered about the use of E.

    Cesar's full name was Cesar Estrada Chavez. The committee has been using the name "Cesar E. Chavez" since the beginning of their efforts to name a street, they are in fact the CECBC (Cesar E. Chavez Blvd Committee).

  • josh speed (unverified)
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    This process is flawed. The group approving this rule allowing non-39th residents to sign petitions approving a name change NEED to reassess this. They should also justify the cost by forming a non-profit to fundraise. The people of Portland DO NOT need to shoulder the cost of replacing or ammending all of the signs, stationary, etc.

    Also, ...

    anybody realize that its insulting to chicano's to say that you are doing right by them by giving Portland a STREET in Chavez's honor? What about their want of fair pay and fair treatment for themselves and children? I understand the importance of symbolism, but didn't civil rights leaders oppose naming a day after MLK because it would diminish the work MLK did by discounting all who came before and after him? Break open history books on Oregon and Chavez. Find where Chavez stayed while visiting and name a house or neighborhood or bridge after him. If you think a frickin STREET is appropriate and provides you with a warm fuzzy feeling coupled with sore arms fooling you into thinking you actually did some hard work for the cause, ... Well, go right ahead. Just don't claim its racist to oppose a street renaming. Holier-than-thou is one title i give you.

  • josh speed (unverified)
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    why don't we rename 39th "Social Justice Ave."?

  • gl (unverified)
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    "Sadly for me,the assumption and the national reputation that Portland has of being Progressive has been blown out of the water. Unless you all have a different definition, Merriam Webster defines it as "making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities; of, relating to, or characterized by progression; moving forward or onward; advancing; of or relating to political Progressives".

    We (Portlanders)are NOT Progressive. We insist on the status quo."

    So if we do not agree with the street re-naming we are no longer progressive? Thats a very inclusive way of thought.

  • Philippe (unverified)
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    I know nobody will read this far down the page, but I will stubbornly post anyway.

    North to south running streets should have numbers, it makes navigation simple and straight froward. This feature is one claim to moral superiority we have over suburbs, like Vancouver. Visitors to our city, no doubt, would have more trouble finding the intersection SE Chavez and Holgate than they would 39th and Holgate. The number tips off people to the relative position of the location to other streets. If I lived at 3905 SE Holgate, instantly, upon hearing this, you have a picture of the nearest intersection.

    Why do we have to make things more complicated then they have to be?

  • (Show?)

    I live on 39th Avenue. I would be honored to live on Cesar Chavez Avenue, would like to do so, & support the change. At the same time I would support another prominent form of honor and commemoration.

    Both school points are good ones. The kids do learn about the bridges in 3rd grade, in my daughter's school they make models of them. The curriculum goes: Portland focus, 3rd grade, Oregon focus 4th grade, U.S. national focus 5th grade. But they could stand to learn more about Cesar Chavez. My daughter has learned who Martin Luther King, Jr. was, in a rudimentary way, and Rosa Parks, but not Cesar Chavez. Maybe that will come in 5th grade.

    But I think that Cesar Chavez should be in what she learns at school whether or not a street or a park or a bridge or a school is named after Chavez. Putting him in the curriculum is not a substitute or an "honor," it is part of a proper teaching of U.S. & Oregon history.

    The idea that 39th Avenue represents any kind of community with a unified identity is pretty funny. Actually the deal with 39th Ave is that it is a street that passes through many neighborhoods with identities. Woodstock (where I iive); Holgate/Gladstone a little maybe, Division a little more, Hawthorne definitely, Belmont definitely -- all of those because the street has a named name, perhaps, or maybe because they are less car oriented & can support more foot-based commercial traffic. Then 39th passes through Laurelhurst & Hollywood, not based on street names. But there is no 39th Avenue community. Just isn't.

    Sean Cruz has taught me a lot in these debates. Dan Petegorsky makes a good point up to a point, but I wonder about the potential white/Anglo allies for the legislation Sean talks about -- whether potential allies may have been distracted -- though on the other hand how much they/we would be worth may be open to question.

    BlueOregon has had boodles of debate over the renamings, not so much about farm labor reform legislation, if anything. Farm labor has come up mainly when poor conditions can be used as a political cudgel against R political opponents. I am not sure it's that likely that in the absence of the naming controversy much more support or attention would have been forthcoming here. Then again I'm not sure there has been such legislation. Is that my shortcoming as a would-be potential "white ally" or is it more complex?

    The main Portland places I'm aware of much attention to farm workers by non-farm worker (& mostly white) allies are Jobs with Justice and some people in the public health community. Oregon beyond Portland may be a different story. Even with JwJ my impression is that the focus has mostly been around immigration issues, but am not sure about the dynamic -- how much that's what's being asked for by PCUN & groups like VOZ. Also I could just be ignorant and wrong and other things may be happening.

    Karol, I'm pretty sure you mean Filipino not Vietnamese. Filipinos were able to come to the U.S. when other Asians were subject to racist (literally) exclusion laws and practices because the Philippines were a "U.S. Commonwealth" from the Spanish American War until 1945. They formed a very large part of the farmworker population during that period, and I think may still be the largest Asian national-ethnic group in the U.S. They had some unionizing efforts prior to the formation of the UFW, partly suppressed by McCarthy-Truman era Red Scare repression, some of their veterans supported the UFW in its earliest days. The quasi-autobiographical novel America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan gives a picture of some of this -- it's a good read. Bulosan probably deserves commemoration in Portland and/ or Oregon as well, including he way and reasons he was subjected to brutal racist beating here. Much of his later life's work was based in Seattle organizing cannery workers with the ILWU.

    The predominance of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans among migrant farm workers in the West and Southwest historically is partly because a specific exception for Mexican farm labor was made in the racist (literally) 1924 Immigration Restriction Act. While likely it still is the case, it also is true that many workers from other Central American countries have come in recent years, and also that more Mexican nationals & other Central Americans whose home language is a Native American language rather than Spanish have been coming.

    Jamais Vu you may be partly right about the effects of illegal immigration but it is an effect, not so much a cause -- a huge amount of recent immigration is due to the evisceration of the Mexican rural economy by NAFTA leading to dumping of highly subsidized U.S. agricultural commodities (esp. corn/maize) in Mexico. It also is partly driven by the exclusion of farm workers from the protections, such as they are, of U.S. federal labor laws. Sean's point about that in Oregon has a national counterpart.

  • peawee (unverified)
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    [Racist crap deleted. -editor.]

  • Nolan (unverified)
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    Don't you get it, anyone who likes this idea? The best cities are ones with numbers going one way, letters going the other. It's what makes Portland so easy to get around on. And don't tell me 39th is just a number, people associate 39th with the Hollywood District. They associate 23rd with the Alphabet District, etc. Before you even start, this is not a smokescreen for not getting Caesar Chavez's name out there in the city. I don't wanna adjust in a city I've lived in my whole life, I don't want see a 40th, a 41st, and name instead of 39th in between them. I would much rather we name a theater after him. A landmark, a building, something we can really remember without screwing with a wonderfully laid out set of streets. For organization's sake, I wish it would remain 39th.

  • Nolan (unverified)
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    <h2>Let's not forget about all the businesses that now have to change cards, windows, inventory...PLEASE rename fixed landmarks instead of streets!</h2>

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